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*GENDER CENTRED: A GenderIT.org thematic bulletin*
APC WNSP GenderIT.org, 8 April 2010
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*Sexuality and the internet*

I. SMALL THOUGHTS AROUND... From the "J" spot to the cru"X" of the matter

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What is the linkage between sexuality and the internet? Why is the
protection of users from the 'harm' of pornographic content often the
principal reason given to regulate the flow of information and exchange
over the internet? How does it work in reality, and how does it impact
on our ability to access information, form relationships, build
communities, create knowledge and exercise self-determination in terms
of our sexuality and sexual rights?

The "EroTICs: Exploratory Research on Sexuality and the Internet"
project is a two-and-a-half year research project that aims to answer
some of these questions. This edition of GenderIT.org presents some of
the initial findings of the project, and highlights from each of the
five county research partners in Brazil, Lebanon, South Africa, India
and the United States. The focus, space and context of each country are
rich in its diversity, and yet in the reading, common threads can be
seen emerging from this research area: the complexity of private/public
and 'privacy', the slippery definitions of 'obscene', 'illegal' and
'harmful' content, the immense value of the internet in the articulation
and realisation of sexual identities and rights especially to those who
have lesser access to 'offline' spaces for this reason, the role of
morality, culture and social surveillance in content regulation and more.

The research concludes on December 2010, and we look forward to your
thoughts and reflections in this edition.
Jac sm Kee, coordinator of the EroTICs research project.

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I. SMALL THOUGHTS AROUND.....From the J spot to the cru"X" of the
by Magaly Pazello, an associated researcher at EMERGE - Communication
and Emergence Research Center, Fluminense Federal University, Brasil

Where is women's "J" spot? asks Jan Moolman, making a play on the word
"G-spot", in reference to Maria Suarez's (Radio FIRE) analysis of why
Section J was not a priority issue at the 10-year review of the Platform
for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing + 10).
Moolman, in agreement with Suarez, used the word "ghetto" to emphasise
that media issues and ICTs (information and communication technologies)
should not be viewed in isolation, nor subjected to the logic of static

On the contrary, the issue of ICTs plays a crucial role in all the
critical areas identified by the Beijing Platform for Action.
Bridge-building is urgently needed between women's human rights
movements and broader political processes related to the new information
and communication technologies, given that these processes pose
challenges to myriad facets of women's equality from economic
independence through to sexual and reproductive self-determination.

In a similar fashion, it was essential to "humanise" the process of the
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) by drawing into the
centre of debate on the digital divide, the issues of ICTs and internet
governance as well as the consensus, concepts and demands of human
rights. These include sexual rights, the right to communicate, to
information and knowledge, gender inequality issues and the countless
social asymmetries in technological appropriation and development. These
issues, particularly those related to rights and social justice, must be
brought out of their "ghettos"...

Read the full editorial at:
[ http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?apc=f--e--1&x=96460 ]

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*"Does your mother know?" Agency, risk and morality in the online lives
of young women in Mumbai*
Manjima Bhattacharjya and Maya Ganesh, the India partner of the APC's
EroTICs Project, open their input with the evocative lyrics of a Swedish
pop group ABBA: "And I can chat with you baby / Flirt a little, maybe /
But does your mother know that you're out?" This article is about
middle-class women digital natives in Mumbai, the city with the highest
internet use in India, and the initial impressions of their online lives
as drawn from interviews and survey data gathered for the ongoing
EroTICs research project.
[ http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=96458 ]

*Who's afraid of the Big Bad Internet*
"Clearly, one cannot speak of sexual rights activism in Lebanon without
speaking at length about internet usage, as both are tied together at
levels from personal identity and relationships to political activism
and mobilization," claims Nadine Moawad, the APC's EroTICs project
partner. In this article, she assesses the role of the internet in the
rise of sexual rights activism in Lebanon, and explores connections
between internet regulations and attitudes towards sexuality.
[ http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=96461 ]

*Negotiating transgender identities on a South African web site*
Jeanne Prinsloo, the APC's EroTICs project partner in South Africa,
looks at the use of the internet by South African transgender people,
and examines the internet's role in the process of transitioning from
one gender identity to another. She concludes that the internet provides
a critical space for trans people to access support, to rehearse their
new identity, to hear marginalised narratives and to assess the risks
they might take. Jeanne argues that calls for content regulation should
not result in censorship and surveillance practices that would curtail
the trans people's freedom of expression and their internet use.
[ http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=96449 ]

*What is 'Harmful to Minors'? US EroTICs partner investigates library
search filters*
In this article, Kevicha Echols and Melissa Ditmore from Sex Work
Awareness (SWA), researchers for the APC's EroTICs project, investigate
the use of filters on public library computers with internet access.
People in the United States (US) enjoy a great deal of access to
information in print and online media due to the first amendment of the
US constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech, and, thereby, its
flip side, access to information. However, many people in the US,
particularly youth and the economically disadvantaged (who are
disproportionately people of colour), rely on school and library
computers to access the internet for information, so legislation
affecting information available on these computers affects their ability
to access information.
[ http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=96450 ]

*Internet regulation and the Brazilian EroTICs context*
Authors Sonia Correa, Marina Maria and Jandira Queiroz document how
gender and sexuality have been at the heart of internet regulation
debates in Brazil. However, this centrality does not necessarily
translate to the discourses, analysis and the political claims of social
actors involved in sexual politics, on the one hand, and digital
politics, on the other. In the authors' view, there is no clarity or
positioning among feminists and LGBT activists regarding the ways in
which gender and sexuality issues are at play in the political dynamics
of internet regulation. Further no strong interaction exists between
communication rights advocates and the world of sexual politics.
Nevertheless the authors perceive cyber activists' commitment to privacy
rights as very auspicious for sexual and reproductive rights.
[ http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=96489 ]

*How to look at censorship with a gender lens*
Heike Jensen and Sonia Randhawa, APC WNSP members participating in a gender
team of the OpenNet Initiative in Asia (ONI-Asia), talk about how
censorship and gender interrelate. Since 2006, APC WNSP has taken a closer
look at internet censorship and surveillance practices from a gender
perspective in order to develop a gender research framework for examining
freedom of expression, security and privacy. ONI-Asia is part of a larger
OpenNet Initiative, a collaborative project that aims to investigate,
expose and analyse internet filtering and surveillance practices.
[ http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=96477 ]

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*EroTICs: An Exploratory Research on Sexuality & The Internet -
Literature Review*
This literature review has been produced as part of the APC WNSP
EroTICs: Exploratory Research on Sexuality and the Internet project. It
includes women's rights and feminist approaches to the internet,
theoretical frameworks on gender and technology, key themes in
literature on sexuality, women and the internet, an assessment of
current approaches and frameworks, recommendations of conceptual
frameworks for the research project and an extensive bibliography. The
review also included several examples and cases culled through online
content research and interviews with key informants. This document is
intended for the development of the EroTICs research framework and
[ http://www.genderit.org/resources/APCEROTICS_LiteratureReview.pdf ]

*EroTICs: An Exploratory Research on Sexuality & The Internet - Policy
The policy review produced as part of the APC WNSP EroTICs project
includes a historical and contextual overview of international and
regional policy documents on the area of internet governance as well as
sexual rights, a focus on pornography and sexuality in relation to
policy and regulation, an assessment of "terms of use" agreements by 18
popular online social networking and content sharing platforms, an
assessment of censorship and content regulation mechanisms employed in
content related to sexuality, a mapping of key actors involved in policy
and legislative processes in this area, an assessment of the legislative
and policy landscape in Brazil, India, South Africa and the USA,
recommendations and future research, an extensive bibliography as well
as interview transcripts with key actors in the area of sexual rights
and communication rights on the internet.
[ http://www.genderit.org/resources/APCEROTICS_PolicyReview.pdf ]

*Sex, Social Mores, and Keyword Filtering: Microsoft Bing in the
"Arabian Countries"*
Microsoft's Bing tailors its search engine to serve different countries
and regions and offers its services in 41 languages. It has a filtering
system at the keyword level for users in several countries. Users in the
Arab countries are prevented from conducting certain search queries in
both English and Arabic.
The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) (a collaboration of the Citizen Lab at the
University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies, Harvard
University's Berkman Center for Internet &Society, and the SecDev Group)
testing reveals that Microsoft filters Arabic and English keywords that
could yield sex- or LGBT-related images and content.
[ http://opennet.net/sites/opennet.net/files/bing_arabiancountries.pdf ]

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*Sexual Rights*
Human sexuality is a central aspect of being human and encompasses sex,
gender, identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure,
intimacy and reproduction. Following from this concept, sexual rights
embrace human rights that are already recognized in national laws,
international human rights documents and other consensus statements.
They include the right of all persons, free of coercion, discrimination
and violence, to: the highest attainable standard of sexual health,
including access to sexual and reproductive health care services; seek,
receive and impart information related to sexuality; sexuality
education; respect for bodily integrity; choose their partner; decide to
be sexually active or not; consensual sexual relations; consensual
marriage; decide whether or not, and when, to have children; and to
pursue a satisfying, safe and pleasurable sexual life. This broad
framework encompasses sexuality rights, particularly the right to be
free of violence and disease, and to experience and pursue pleasure and
relationships consensually. It is also applicable to the context of ICTs
and the internet.
Source: EroTICs: An Exploratory Research on Sexuality & The Internet -
Literature Review.

*Content regulation*
Content regulation refers to the ways in which information and
communication are organised, governed and controlled. Regulation can
take many forms, and can be put into place by various actors. This
ranges from governments (e.g. through laws), to the private sector (e.g.
through 'terms of use' and contractual agreements), the technical
community (e.g. through standards and protocols) to individuals (e.g.
through installation of filtering software in home computers).
Content regulation is also often used to mean censorship and limitation
on the free flow of information on the internet. This is usually
operationalised through a combination of filtering technologies,
legislation, partnerships between different actors in enforcement and
public discourses that justify the necessity of regulation. As such,
content regulation not just a technical or legal issue, but involve
ideas about how societies define themselves, such as through different
criteria for that which is acceptable against that which is 'illegal',
'harmful' or punishable.
Questions of gender and sexuality are especially defining in the issue
of content regulation, given the first and most common form of content
subjected to regulation and control are often sexual in nature, and
understood in heteronormative terms. For example, in terms of regulation
of mainstream pornography.
Manjima Bhattacharjya and Maya Indira Ganesh, EroTICs: An Exploratory
Research on Sexuality and the Internet, Literature Review, APC WNSP,
January 2009.
Jac sm Kee, SMALL THOUGHTS AROUND... Content Regulation & Censorship,
GenderIT.org editorial, March 2007.
Namita Malhotra, The World Wide Web of Desire: Content regulation on the
internet , APC WNSP, November 2007
Ronald Deibert, John Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, Jonathan Zittrain, eds.,
Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering,
(Cambridge: MIT Press) 2008.

To understand unfamiliar ICT or gender terms visit the Jargon section:
[ http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?apc=j--e--1 ]

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*The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights*
The Youth Coalition is an international organisation of young people
committed to promoting adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive
rights at the national, regional and international levels. Advocacy,
generating knowledge, sharing information, building partnerships and
training activists are the main ways to secure the participation of
young people in decision-making in sexual and reproductive rights field.
Among other activities, it promotes youth advocacy campaigns on access
to information about the sexual and reproductive health and rights.
[ http://www.youthcoalition.org/ ]

*Sexuality Policy Watch*
Sexuality Policy Watch (SPW) is a global forum composed of researchers
and activists from various regions. Since 2002, SPW has undertaken many
projects under a two-fold mission: "to contribute to sexuality related
global policy debates through strategic policy-oriented research and
analysis projects, and to promote more effective linkages between local,
regional and global initiatives". SPW has two secretariats, one based in
Brazil and the other in the United States of America. SPW is also one of
the APC's EroTICs Project partners. In partnership with CLAM, the Latin
American Center for Sexuality and Human Rights, SPW is involved in the
Brazil case study on internet regulation, gender and sexuality.
[ http://www.sxpolitics.org/ ]

*Sex Work Awareness*
Sex Work Awareness (SWA) is a non-profit founded by four women who were
originally editors and staff at $pread, a magazine by and for sex
workers. SWA members believe that all sex workers have a right to
self-determination; to choose how to make a living and what to do with
their bodies. They aim to empower that diverse community "by building
the capacity of sex worker-serving and sex worker member-based
institutions as well as the skills and resources of sex workers
themselves", as well as conduct research about sex workers and the sex
industry, develop public education initiatives, and advocate for the
rights of sex workers. As the part of APC's EroTICs Project, Sex Work
Awareness is embarking on research to investigate content filtering
systems in public libraries with internet access in the USA, with an eye
towards resctriction on access to information on reproductive health and
[ http://www.sexworkawareness.org/ ]

*OpenNet Initiative*
The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) is a collaborative partnership between the
Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies (University of
Toronto), the Berkman Center for Internet & Society (Harvard University)
and the SecDev Group (Ottawa). ONI aims to "investigate, expose and
analyse internet filtering and surveillance practices" from a
multi-disciplinary approach as well as "uncover the potential pitfalls
and unintended consequences of these practices, and thus help to inform
better public policy and advocacy work in this area". As part of the
OpenNet Initiative in the Asia region (ONI-Asia), a gender team was
established. The team has aimed to incorporate a gender lens into the
research framework, including assessment of different impacts on men and
[ http://opennet.net/ ]

To find out more about key stakeholders in the field of ICTs, visit the
Who's Who in Policy section:
[ http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?apc=w--e--1 ]

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*Calling all readers in the USA: Survey on content filtering in public
Sex Work Awareness (SWA), the United States country research partner for
the APC's EroTICs Project, calls all readers in the USA for assistance.
Your job is simple. Next time you're at the library, just check out
their survey, which asks you to look up certain (SFW) sexuality and
reproductive health websites, and then asks you to use a search engine
to look up a small number of keywords (like condom and transsexual) to
see whether or not the library's filtering system kicks in. Just check
whether or not the library lets you find these words and then send it
in. It's easy!
[ http://www.infoandthelibrary.org/ ]

*Call for Research Pre-Proposals: Gender and Citizenship in the
Information Society*
IT for Change, with support from IDRC, is launching an Asia-Wide
Research Program, 'Gender and Citizenship in the Information Society'.
This initiative proposes to explore how the concept of citizenship may
be useful to study the gendered context of the emerging techno-social
paradigm. It aims to build a theoretical framework and generate policy
directions from the standpoint of marginalised women in the region. The
Program will award about 8 grants of up to 25,000 USD each, for one year
of primary research. The deadline to send the Pre-Proposal is April
28th, 2010. For more information on eligibility and the selection
process, please go to:
[ http://gender-is-citizenship.net/ ]

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*CopyLeft. 2010 APC Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP)*
Permission is granted to use this document for personal use, for
training and educational publications, and activities by peace,
environmental, human rights or development organisations. Please provide
an acknowledgement to APC WNSP.
*Gender Centred Archive*
[ http://www.genderit.org/archive/?q=en/bulletin ]
*Sign up for Gender Centred*
[ http://www.genderit.org/archive/?q=en/subscribe-bulletin ]
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Important initiative... we are not taking advantage of our networks for gender support. Best, Ginger
Summary and discussion of the ASIA-EUROPE SUMMIT: Tomorrow you have a chance to hear an update on the ASIA-EUROPE SUMMIT held this week in Brussels. If you did not have time to follow the summit, you can catch up with the summary and discussion at 9:00 GMT, see below.
Best, Ginger

Dear colleagues,

If you, your colleagues, or your students would like to hear an update on this week Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM) please join us for tomorrow's webinar from Brussels (8 October 2010 at 9 am GMT). Richard Werly, an expert on EU-Asian affairs, will summarise Asia-Europe week in Brussels. Werly's introduction will be followed by discussion. The background text for this week's meeting is available at http://discuss.diplomacy.edu/asem

In order to join the session, you need to click at https://my.dimdim.com/diplofoundation/ (the space will be open 15 minutes before the start of the session).

With best regards,

Jovan Kurbalija
Are you finding info on Twitter? Using shortened URLs? I found this article interesting:

Avoid the security risk of shortened URLs By Fred Langa


The compact URLs produced by services such as TinyURL, bit.ly, is.gd, and many others are convenient and save space, but they can also be used to hide the identity of malicious sites.

Fortunately, there are several ways to peek behind a shortened URL to see exactly where the link will take you — before you click it!

In fact, every URL-shortening service I'm aware of offers one or more ways to preview the real destination of a shortened link.

Read the complete article at: http://windowssecrets.com/2010/11/25/02




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The full text of the book An Introduction to Internet Governance (6th edition) is available here. The translated versions in Serbian/BCS, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Portuguese are also available for download.


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